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8 Tips to Relieve Pain in Pregnancy
There are a myriad of pains that you may experience during pregnancy. Common complaints are achy back, sore ribs, tired muscles, pelvic and hip pain, swollen feet and ankles, and constipation.
Friends, please know that you do not have to expect that every stage of pregnancy will be uncomfortable for you. Each pregnancy is so different and each one can bring different areas of pain, severities of pain or no pain at all.
Comfort Pains. Wait, what?
Many women, including myself, find comfort in the pains of pregnancy because it proves that we are pregnant. Feeling pain during pregnancy helps some feel validated as a mom-to-be. It may sound crazy when it is written in black and white but it is true!
After trying for almost two years to get pregnant for the first time, I looked for pregnancy symptoms and pains like I was looking for a pot of gold. My first trimester’s (and some of my second) nausea took me down. I couldn’t function because of its severity; daily life was a struggle with constant nausea and vomiting. But, crazy enough, I loved it. I would cry when I had a day that nausea subsided because I was terrified that I was “less pregnant” or that I was going to lose my baby.
I experienced my fair share of pregnancy pains while I was pregnant with my daughter and eventually found some helpful solutions. Hip, back, rib, foot, pelvic, neck, and every-area-of-your-body pain does not have to be the mark of your pregnancy. These tips are what helped me thrive, in spite of the pain, during my pregnancy.
What are some of the causes of pain in pregnancy?
- Your expanding belly, of course, is what leads to most pregnancy pain. As you get bigger, your center of gravity is shifted. The weight of your belly can have you tilt out of proper alignment. Your baby starts becoming large enough to crowd your lungs and ribs, ouch!
- The weight of your uterus can put pressure on your nerves. This results in swelling and possibl numbness. Round Ligament Pain can be intensified as your uterus becomes heavier and larger.
8 Tips to Relieve Pain in Pregnancy
1. Receive Frequent Chiropractic Care
- I found immediate relief after each visit to the chiropractor. I felt like I could breathe again and my entire body felt so happy! I am so thankful for chiropractic care.
- I recommend going to the chiropractor at least as often as your OBGYN appointments. If your OBGYN appointments are 4 weeks apart, go to the chiropractor every 4 weeks. Once they are down to once a week, go to the chiropractor once a week.
- Find a chiropractor that is Webster Certified or specializes in prenatal treatment. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has a helpful search engine to find a certified chiropractor. I found lots of information on their website about Webster technique.
- You can be injured by an inexperienced chiropractor due to the high amount of relaxin (a hormone released during pregnancy). Invest in quality care; you’re worth it!
2. Exercise Gently with MommaStrong
MommaStrong has changed the way that I think about myself and the way that I think about exercise. I feel so much stronger and healthier since starting MommaStrong. My body feels like it is working with me rather than me working it until it is exhausted.
- MommaStrong is an online exercise program designed for moms. The program has an emphasis on core stability and pelvic floor care.
- It costs $5 a month. The basis of the program is to “show up” every day. 15 minutes of daily movement to gain strength, sanity and celebrate victories.
MommaStrong is a fitness program engineered to teach you about your body and how to gain strength from the inside out. Every day is a new adventure with new problems to tackle and new victories to celebrate.
And don’t expect to just get a series of workouts. You will also learn about your anatomy and why it does what it does.MommaStrong About Us Page
Your membership includes access to live Q&A sessions with Courtney, the MommaStrong Facebook group, an accountability partner or group, and/or daily inspirational emails.
You can also access:
- Daily videos, that are saved for up to a week
- Fix-Me’s, these videos cover just about every area of your body that could be hurting. I LOVE the Upper Body Ouch fix-me!
- Specialized courses, these sequences help with specific issues such as incontinence, prolapse, diastasis recti, stomach pooch and more.
I needed a professional to tell me how I could move safely and what would help my pain. Find movement that feels good for you during this time- for me, MommaStrong is the answer.
3. Stretch and Do Yoga Regularly
- I have found great pain relief through yoga and stretching!
- I love the YouTube Channel, Yoga with Adriene! Adriene is very grounded and gives helpful cues to know what you’re doing. I really like that she teaches just yoga and does not bring spirituality into her classes. Yoga with Adriene has series or you can go video to video.
- I used this video daily during pregnancy and noticed a big difference in how I was feeling after doing it. It is only 10 minutes long and feels great!
- Please, use caution when stretching and be gentle with yourself. You have high amounts of the hormone relaxin in your body during pregnancy and you can hurt yourself by overstretching.
4. Take Naps
- Sleeping through the night can be challenging for pregnant women; make up for lost time with a nap. Rest is an important part of growing a baby!
- Naps help recharge your body and can help your baby to grow.
- Retrain your thought patterns about naps! Replace your guilt of not being productive with positive thoughts about what you are doing. While you nap, you could be supporting your baby while a lung is developing, eyes are being formed, or a heart is beating for the first time.
- Allow yourself to rest!
5. Use a Supportive Band and Kinesiology Tape
- If you are dealing with hip, back, and/or pelvic pain during pregnancy, I HIGHLY recommend using the SI Loc Band or something similar for support. The SI Loc Band was a total gamechanger during my pregnancy. I could manage daily activities, such as walking, with the band on… without it, not so much.
- Kinesiology tape can be used just about everywhere on your body. I loved taping my belly for support! I really liked that the tape didn’t have to be taken on and off repeatedly. “This taping method gently lifts the layer of skin and attached tissue covering a muscle so that blood and other body fluids can move more freely in and around that muscle,” says Stephanie Crawford on Science How Stuff Works. (Source)
- You can read more about these products and where to buy them in my post The Best Products for Hip, Back and Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy.
6. Enjoy Relaxing Baths
love, love soaking in a nice bath. During pregnancy, I bathed often for pain relief. love,
- It helps to add Epsom salts and essential oils to your bath for added relaxation and pain relief. DO NOT add essential oils directly into the bath water. First, mix the essential oils into the Epsom salt. Then, add the oiled Epsom salts to your bath.
- You will need this awesome cover for your overflow drain. Our tub didn’t allow for much water without getting to that pesky overflow drain. Give yourself the gift of unlimited water to soak in.
7. Utilize Essential Oils
For pain relief, I enjoyed using these oils:
Lavender: a powerhouse for pregnancy use.
- Natural pain reliever
- Enhances sleep
- Boosts and/or relaxes mood
- Great for skin
- Diffuse Lavender and Cedarwood together for added sleep benefits
Valor Young Living (YL) Blend: gives courage, also called chiropractor in a bottle
- I enjoy the smell of Valor and can testify to it’s energizing effect.
- I used this almost 24/7 when my daughter was born and I believe it is the reason I coped so well with the newborn phase.
Stress Away YL Blend: relaxes mind, body, and home
- Stress Away has a warm citrus vanilla scent. I can personally attest to its calming properties, even in the middle of an argument or bad traffic jam!
- This blend features lavender, cedarwood, and copaiba for pain relief and feelings of wellbeing.
- The citrus scents in Stress Away can provide relief for nausea.
If you are interested in learning more about these oils or would like to have a Young Living membership, go to my Getting Started with Young Living page.
8. Boost Nutrition to Relieve Aches and Pains
Avoid inflammatory foods, nourish your body with life-giving foods and celebrate your victories as you gain health. (Inflammation leads to pain in the body.) I have gained knowledge about properly fueling my body and health through the Trim Healthy Mama plan. The Trim Healthy Mama plan has lead to gaining energy, great milk supply, and weight loss as I have implemented better nutritional choices.
Things you will want to avoid:
- Processed Meats
- deli meat
- hot dogs
- artificial meats, like “fake” chicken nuggets
- White flour, bread, and pasta
- White potatoes
Enjoy eating anti-inflammatory foods that will soothe your body:
- Raw olive oil
- Bone broth
- Fruits and veggies
You Are Strong
Here are some common misconceptions regarding pregnancy and pain relieving solutions.
Naps for not for adults.
False. According to Brene Brown, “Rest and play, are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise.” I have a hard time with this myth. I would often tell myself (aloud if I needed reinforcement) that even if I didn’t think I “earned” a nap that my baby deserved for me to nap and take care of myself.
My diet doesn’t affect my pain.
Good nutritional choices are important for growing a healthy baby and supporting your body. The eating for two rule has been shown to be unnecessary and a cause for excess weight gain. You only need to eat roughly 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy. (Source) Sugar, processed foods and white bread/pasta have been known to cause inflammation in the body. (Source) Nourish your body and your growing baby through eating healthy balanced meals.
Exercise will hurt me.
Gentle daily exercise will keep your mind and body in ultimate health. Daily movement is great for your body! Find what feels good for your body. Enjoy stretching, yoga, walking, swimming or a guided low-impact exercise led by a professional trainer.
I have to suffer through this pain.
Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Replace this negative thought with the positive; I can find healthy pain solutions to support my body while my baby grows. There are countless solutions for relieving pain and discomfort during pregnancy.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Naturally Relieving Pain During Pregnancy
Each and every pregnancy is different, even from one pregnancy to the next! Be gentle with yourself as you endure the aches and pains of motherhood. Lean
What are your life-saving tips for others moms in the thick of pregnancy pain? Comment below and share if you found this helpful!